In 2008 I awoke in a cold sweat from a dream. In this dream a young girl flies to Time square where she is met by a Vampire in a leather jacket and a "Guns 'N' Roses" t-shirt singing "Welcome to My Nightmare" by Alice Cooper. I ran to the computer and for the next 2 weeks I did nothing but write out my first attempted novel, "The Vampire in Times Square." I scrapped the project when I discovered that there was another Vampire Romanace novel taking the world by storm (Twilight).
I might return to it someday, and it was great inspiration for Skeleton Crew, but for now, it's just a fun bout of fiction writing. Here is one of my favorite excerpts.
PREMISE: Abbey is a new Vampire who's being "trained up" by a lazy homeless Vampire named Macarius. After complaints of going nearly a week without access to a shower, Macarius promises to take Abbey some place to clean up.
"Down there!" Macarius cried above the roar of the traffic. Looking at the signs below I saw we were on E 47th Street. There was a white-fronted building with a red awning over the door sporting the letter "Y."
"We're going to the Y?" I asked him.
He grinned at me again. "Perfect place for it."
'But the lights are all out. Is it open?"
"No," said Macarius shaking his head. "It's closed for refurbishing."
"You mean we're breaking in?" I asked in disbelief.
"No, we're going to walk through the door," said the Vampire, and I couldn't tell if he was kidding or not. Making sure no one was watching, we descended to the sidewalk and approached the dark doorway.
"You can't break into the Y!" I hissed at him.
"Y not?" he asked making a "Y" in the air with his fingers.
I was temporarily stunned. "Was that a joke you just made?" I asked nonplussed. Macarius gave a throaty chuckle at my surprise.
"I think you're rubbing off on me," he said touching his lips. He laughed as my face burned scarlet again and turned to the door.
"I thought vampires couldn't go anywhere they weren't invited. I read that somewhere. Is that true?" I said trying to change the subject.
Macarius nudged my shoulder, and pointed to a dusty sign in the unlit window."Welcome to the East St. YMCA," it read just before the notice stating "closed for renovations, please look us up at these 3 nearby locations," listing their branches in Queens, West Side and Harlem.
"You mean? I asked..."Anyplace with a welcome mat?" I asked, a little unnerved. Macarius snorted.
"That only applies if we want to do this..." He walked up to the locked doors and then he seemed to become transparent for a moment. I was aware of a sharp cold wind as Macarius seemed to dissolve into a cloud and then as quickly as it happened, he was on the other side of the glass door. Me motioned for me to follow. I approached the door cautiously. I had just seen it happen, but had no idea how he had done it.
"How do you do that?" I said as loudly as I dared, raising my shoulders dramatically to make my point clear through the thick glass.
"You forget I have exceptionally good hearing. So do you," came his whisper as clear as if he was right next to me. "Now, do you see that hole between the doors, near the ground where they meet?"
"Try to focus all of your energy on that hole," he said.
"Oh right, easy as that, then," I grumbled and heard his wheezy laugh. I put a hand on each door and stared hard at the tiny gap between the doors until I felt my eyes would bug out of my head. It didn't help that the longer I did it the louder Macarius's snickers and snorts were becoming.
"Do you mind? That's not helping!" I snapped. I looked up to see Macarius's dark shape, doubled over, trying to stifle his laughter and doing a lousy job. Tears were streaming down his cheeks as he clamped his hand harder across his mouth.
"I'm sorry," he said in a high-thin gasp. "Your face...it's just too funny right now." I stood there, hands on hips, waiting for him to finish. After a couple of false endings, he'd finally quieted down, but his mouth was still twitching into involuntary grins, and little laughs punctuated his speech.
"Try (heh-heh)...try giving it a running (heh) s-start," he said clutching his side. I shrugged irritatedly.
"Fine" I snapped and backed up to the edge of the side walk. Closing my eyes and taking a deep breath I tried to summon that crackly, electric feeling in my palms that I had felt in the coffee shop. After a moment, it came and the world became brighter and completely still. I set my jaw and with all the energy I could muster, I ran at the double door. I tried to concentrate on the gap, willing myself to dissolve into smoke like Macarius did. Sadly, my brain interrupted me, suddenly screaming, 'YOU MORON, YOU'RE RUNNING AT A SOLID OBJECT!" Half of my body tried to stop while the other half tried to keep going, the result being that I ran into the doors headfirst and bounced off them like a super-ball.
When the explosions of light stopped clanging in my head I looked up to see two Macariuses standing over me. My eyes uncrossed themselves and there was suddenly one, offering me his arm.
"We'll go together, c'mon," he said and taking my hand we walked through the glass doors together. Dissolving felt like being enclosed in a freezing cold mist, but I could still feel Macarius's warm arm wrapped around mine tightly, it seemed that there was part of him still with me when we reformed on the other side in the dark foyer.
"Thanks for coming back for me," I said earnestly.
"Anytime," said Macarius, his mouth still twitching. "I had to wait until I stopped laughing though," he added in a strangled high voice. "That last one nearly killed me." He broke off into a fit of laughter again.
I frowned and dropped his hand, annoyed with myself. Looking over my shoulder, I noticed a large crack running through the pane on the left front door and that the glass had warped.